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Thompson strong in return to big leagues

Thompson strong in return to big leagues

BALTIMORE -- After losing right-hander Samuel Deduno to the Astros via waivers on Saturday, the Twins selected the contract of left-hander Aaron Thompson from Triple-A Rochester to take his spot on the roster on Sunday.

Thompson made his Twins debut in Sunday's 12-8 loss to the O's, and he pitched well in his first big league action since pitching in four games with the Pirates in 2011. Thompson came on to strike out left-handed-hitting Ryan Flaherty with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh inning, then pitched a scoreless eighth.

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Thompson, 27, posted a 3.98 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 26 walks in 52 innings with the Red Wings. He pitched in the Minors with the Twins the last three seasons. In '12, Thompson served a 50-game suspension for a violation of a "drug of abuse" under Major League Baseball's Minor League testing program.

"I've worked hard the last few years to put myself in a position to be a callup," Thompson said. "Every player wants that. I was in the big leagues but had some setbacks. So, shocked isn't the right word. I'm just ready. I've worked hard to get to this position and it's different the second time around. I don't think you experience as much shock or awe."

Thompson is expected to be used primarily against left-handers, as fellow left-handed relievers Brian Duensing and Caleb Thielbar have scuffled recently. But Thompson said he's ready for whatever role the Twins have in mind for him.

"My whole point is just to throw strikes and pitch to my strengths," Thompson said. "I think if you do that you'll be successful. I like to think I have a pretty good breaking ball. It probably is more effective against lefties throwing it from the first-base side of the rubber. Other than that, I think it's just about the mental approach. Even though it's the big leagues, it's the same game."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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